Wednesday, March 5, 2014

RUGBY chapter II

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
"Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" is a historic American Negro spiritual song. The earliest known recording was in 1909, by the Fisk Jubilee Singers of Fisk University. It is also the anthem of the English Rugby team.
In 2002, the Library of Congress honored the song as one of 50 recordings chosen that year to be added to the National Recording Registry. It was also included in the list of Songs of the Century, by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts.

"Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" was written by Wallis Willis, a Choctaw freedman in the old Indian Territory in what is now Choctaw County, near the County seat of Hugo, Oklahoma sometime before 1862. He was inspired by the Red River, which reminded him of the Jordan River and of the Prophet Elijah's being taken to heaven by a chariot (2 Kings 2:11). Many sources claim that this song and "Steal Away" (also composed by Willis) had lyrics that referred to the Underground Railroad, the resistance movement that helped slaves escape from the South to the North and Canada.

Alexander Reid, a minister at the Old Spencer Academy, Choctaw boarding school, heard Willis singing these two songs and transcribed the words and melodies. He sent the music to the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. The Jubilee Singers popularized the songs during a tour of the United States and Europe.

The song enjoyed a resurgence during the 1960s Civil Rights struggle and the folk revival; it was performed by a number of artists. Perhaps the most famous performance during this period was that by Joan Baez during the legendary 1969 Woodstock festival.
Oklahoma State Senator, Judy Eason McIntyre from Tulsa, Oklahoma proposed a bill nominating "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" as the Oklahoma State official gospel song in 2011. The bill was co-sponsored by the Oklahoma State Black Congressional Caucus. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed the bill into law on May 5, 2011, at a ceremony at the Oklahoma Cowboy Hall of Fame; making the song the official Oklahoma State Gospel Song.

Use in rugby union
Chris Oti
"Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" has been sung by rugby players and fans for some decades, but became associated with the English national side, in particular, in 1988. Coming into the last match of the 1988 season, against Ireland at Twickenham, England had lost 15 of their previous 23 matches in the Five Nations Championship. The Twickenham crowd had only seen one solitary England try in the previous two years and at half time against Ireland they were 0–3 down. However during the second half England scored six tries to give them a 35–3 win. Three of the tries came in quick succession from Chris Oti, a black player making his Twickenham debut. A group of boys from the Benedictine school Douai following a tradition at their school games sang "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" whenever a try was scored. When Oti scored his second try, amused spectators standing close to the boys joined in, and when Oti scored his hat-trick the song was heard around the ground. The song is still regularly sung at matches by supporters. There are associated gestures, sometimes used in a drinking game, which requires those who wrongly perform the gestures to buy a round of drinks.

The England national rugby union team returned from the 2003 World Cup triumph in Australia on a plane dubbed "Sweet Chariot".

Recordings associated with England's participation at the Rugby World Cup
The song became the England Rugby World Cup theme for 1991, when performed by "Union featuring the England World Cup Squad". It reached no. 16 on the UK singles chart.

The song was then covered in 1995 for that year's tournament by British pop/reggae duo China Black together with South African male choral group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo. It reached no. 15 on the chart, selling 200,000 copies – and South Africa won the tournament.

1999's tournament saw Russell Watson record a version which had less success, only peaking at no. 38 on the UK chart.

The song enjoyed more success in 2003's tournament, when recorded by UB40 and the United Colours of Sound. It originally peaked at no. 23, but following England's victory in the tournament returned to reach no. 15.
A new version was recorded by Blake for the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

For 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand popular all-girl group Our Lady Muse (O.L.M) released an England Rugby World Cup Song. An upbeat party anthem version of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot – The Song was premiered at the "Polo Rocks" concert in aid of The Prince's Trust.

Swing low, sweet chariot Traditional lyrics

Swing low, sweet chariot
 Coming forth to carry me home,
 Swing low, sweet chariot,
 Coming forth to carry me home.

I looked over Jordan, and what did I see
 Coming forth to carry me home?
 A band of angels coming after me,
 Coming forth to carry me home.


Sometimes I'm up, and sometimes I'm down,
 (Coming forth to carry me home)
 But still my soul feels heavenly bound.
 (Coming forth to carry me home)


The brightest day that I can say,
 (Coming forth to carry me home)
 When Jesus washed my sins away.
 (Coming forth to carry me home)


If I get there before you do,
 (Coming forth to carry me home)
 I'll cut a hole and pull you through.
 (Coming forth to carry me home)


If you get there before I do,
 (Coming forth to carry me home)
 Tell all my friends I'm coming too.
 (Coming forth to carry me home)


No comments: